Musical Residency

The Greencards Immigrate to Americana

by Brett Leigh Dicks

If you were to wander last year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the lineup of bands
resembled a Sings Like Hell roll call. While it’s a pleasure to
revisit old musical friends, the real delight lies in discovery —
like stumbling across the dynamic overtones of Nashville-based band
the Greencards. This vibrant three-piece brandishes an infectious
mix of Americana, which is ironic given the band is two Aussies and
a Brit. As the Greencards ready themselves to join the Sings Like
Hell alumni with a show at the Lobero this Saturday, June 10, Kym
Warner spoke to Down Under ex-pat Brett Leigh Dicks about all
things musical and a few things Australian.

Being Australian and playing Americana, how different is
it being here in the States pursuing your musical career as opposed
to doing the same back home?
What we play is predominantly
an American music style and that is virtually nonexistent back
home. But here it’s a way of life and there are so many venues and
opportunities. And playing here is so much different to back home.
Going to see a band in Australia is a social event. You stand
around with a beer and some friends, whereas here people are
listening to the music much more.

How was playing the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
last year?
I had a great moment of walking through the
park and hearing Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” And as I
moved through this sea of people and got closer to the stage, I
realized that, bloody hell, it’s Joan Baez singing it! The caliber
of artists that were on that bill was second to none. It was so
overwhelming to be right there in the middle of, but it was also a
lot of fun. That was one of the best concerts we have ever

You are about to start recording your third album. Does
your sound evolve more in between visits to the studio than it does
once you are actually recording?
Absolutely! That’s
definitely the way it is for us and that’s the way it should be
too. I like it when a band evolves and grows from record to record
and you can feel and hear and sense in their recordings everything
they have gone through over a period of time. We have done so much
since we went in and recorded our last album. We have been to so
many new places and discovered so many different things. All those
things will come into play and exert their own influence on the

There seems to be an imposed importance placed upon a
band’s third album. Is that something tangible or more a
When I look at a lot of bands that I like, their
third record is often the one that tends to stand out in their
career. So it seems to be an important one. But I hope [the notion
is] crap. Just like the preceding records, you just have to back
yourself and be who you are. And just keep making the music that
you love making.

In venturing across here and affording your music its
best possible chance, you guys certainly seem to be old hands at
backing yourself.
And that’s just what you have to do,
isn’t it? If it’s something that you really want to do, sometimes
you just have to say “bugger it.” We haven’t set the world on fire,
but we are part of a music scene that is incredible and we are
honored to be here. If you believe in yourself, I think you can
make things happen.

4•1•1 Sings Like Hell presents the Greencards
and Caroline Herring on Saturday, June 10, at 8 p.m., in the Lobero
Theatre. Call 963-0761 or visit


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